While unprecedented in modern presidential history, the pardon of former Maricopa county sheriff, Joe Arpaio continues a trend in the Trump administration of threatening our civil rights. During a Presidential debate in Detroit, he said he was willing to violate the Geneva conventions against torture. Soon after his appointment, Attorney General, Jeff Sessions said the Department of Justice would not pursue civil rights cases against police departments. Then on Friday, as a level 4 hurricane bore down on our nation, President Trump took the opportunity to unleash a flood of bad decisions, among them, the pardon of Joe Arpaio. Since his conviction would not have even resulted in any prison time, this action would do little else besides appeal to the most racist and extremist in his base for political purposes.
We at Michigan United condemn in the strongest terms the decision to extend clemency to Arpaio because it sends a clear and dangerous message to all law enforcement officials that the Trump administration will not protect the civil rights of Americans and it will overrule any effort to uphold them. We are very concerned with the precedent this action will set and the impact it will have on our futures and in our communities. We believe everyone in America, regardless of race, religion or documentation status, should be equally alarmed.
Immigrant rights Coordinator, Michigan United
Too racist to be Federal judge, certainly too racist to be Attorney General
Detroit city council members stood with Michigan civil rights organizations to oppose President elect, Donald Trump’s appointment of Jeff Sessions as US Attorney General. Janee Ayers, one of the city’s two at large representatives, and Brenda Jones, the council President joined the chorus of voices calling for a more moderate choice. “We’re talking about is a dangerous person.” Said Ayers. “The Civil rights act, sanctuary cities, criminal justice reform. These are all things that any one of us could have to deal with at any given time… We are all human beings who have had somebody come before us who fought so we could have inalienable rights. Now those rights are under attack.”
Sessions, the Junior US Senator from Alabama, has been a staunch opponent of immigrant rights. His bid for a Federal Judgeship ended amid controversy over reported racist statements. He’s also referred to groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union as “un-American”. Add to this President elect, Donald Trump has called for unconstitutional policing tactics such as “stop and frisk”, the use of “waterboarding and much worse” and that American citizens could be sent to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and held without charge.
“Donald Trump staged a very divisive campaign to be elected President” said Bishop Herman Starks of Michigan United’s Detroit Pastoral Alliance for Change. “If he hopes to heal the nation, he’s going about it all wrong.”
Starks focused on the effect Sessions would have on voting rights going forward. As Alabama Attorney General, Sessions pursued bogus voter fraud cases against African Americans. “In the post- Voting Rights era, this is not the person to put in charge of protecting minority rights.” said Starks “The next AG must have a respect for civil rights and equal protection under the law.”
Local non-profit goes door-to-door, hit the pavement, signs up new voters
As part of National Voter Registration day, Michigan United canvassed door-to-door Tuesday in Southwest Detroit. Members of their civic engagement fellowship were looking for people who weren’t yet registered to vote in the predominantly Hispanic community.
Later that afternoon, Michigan United board member, Saydi Sarr led a group of volunteers on a trip to a high traffic location along Grand River Ave. looking for people who don’t typically vote.
Meanwhile, in Mt. Pleasant, MI, home of Central Michigan University, a team signed up college students, many of them voting for the first time in their lives.
At the end of the day, dozens of new voters were registered to kick off the campaign to grow our electorate before the October 11 deadline. Michigan United is committed to elevating the voices of new Americans, people of color and others who are often disengaged from the electoral process.
Representatives Stephanie Chang and Harvey Santana announced the introduction of a bill Monday to restore drivers licenses for all in Michigan, including undocumented immigrants.
“Everyone deserves the right to drive and have ID. When you can’t get a license, your whole life is smaller. ” said Michigan United member Celia Martinez of Detroit. “Taking the kids to school is a terrifying risk. Getting medical care or even a library card is difficult or impossible. Michigan should welcome immigrants by bringing back drivers licenses for all.”
Licenses were stripped from undocumented drivers in Michigan in 2008.
12 states and Washington DC currently offer licenses to all, including the most recent additions of Illinois and California.
Providing drivers licenses to all would increase safety on our state’s roadways. Properly licensed, immigrant drivers will need to pass a drivers test, get insurance and pay registration fees. Overall, this would reduce accidents and increase tax revenues.
Join hundreds of Michigan United leaders and allies from across the state as we take over Lansing in the name of economic, environmental, and racial justice!
We will meet with our legislators to push for grassroots solutions to injustices our communities face. Following the meetings, we will join with allies from across the state to amplify our voices against those causing pain in our communities by carrying out a DIRECT ACTION.
Michigan United will provide buses for transportation from Detroit and Kalamazoo. Detroit will depart from 6451 Schaefer Rd, Dearborn & Kalamazoo will depart from their office at 1009 E Stockbridge Ave, Kalamazoo. A logistics email will be sent to all registered attendees a week before the event with many details, including depart times and locations.
Please click here to register if you plan to attend. A space to enter attendees’ names will appear once you choose how many places you would like to reserve. Please include the names of everyone for whom you reserve a spot.
A light breakfast and lunch will be provided. Please indicate any dietary restrictions when registering.
Childcare will also be provided. Please indicate if you will require childcare, along with their names and ages. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide childcare for children under the age of 2 years.
This is a FREE event. However, we greatly appreciate donations to help offset the costs. Click here to donate now! A donation of $60 more makes you an official member in good standing!
For additional information about Capitol Day 2016, please contact our office, 877-507-7774, ext 725 or email email@example.com.